A jewelry rolling mill is an investment worth considering. It is a good investment that will last a long time.
An investment in your company’s future will be made by a quality mill. What is a mill of “good quality?”
Jewelerstoolsmall models are the best value for money. Brass bushes and other features reduce the chance of jamming. Rolls that have been case hardened are durable and long-lasting. The new ductile frames combine incredible strength and flexibility with steel. This gives them the perfect balance of strength and flexibility. The 4:1 gearbox provides speed, accuracy, and ease-of-use. Jewelerstoolsmall is known for its quality finish, styling, and attention to detail. Jewelerstoolsmall mills are built to last and provide reliable, predictable service for many years. There are so many options, how do you choose?
This is not a guide to the available models, but it is worth mentioning about annealing. It quickly becomes hardened and difficult when you grind silver and gold in a mill. Annealing refers to the softening of metal to make it more malleable. It is easy to heat silver and gold uniformly in a low flame until it turns a dark cherry-red color. Then, you can cool it with water. This lowers the stress in the metal, making it easier to bend and work inside the mill. This prevents the wire from becoming too flexible, which is especially important if you plan to make jump rings or bend it into rings. When annealing, it is essential that the entire piece of metal be heated evenly with a soft flame. An annealing pot is a large pan made of metal and filled with pumice, or similar material. It allows large items to be heated evenly with a soft flame and without causing damage. You can risk causing firescale or surface melting if you are too aggressive. To prevent oxidization, flux can be applied. Also, it is advisable to anneal in dark areas so you can see clearly when the metal glows deep red. It is easy to heat the metal in bright light.
An easy trick for annealing silver is to use a sharpie mark and draw a line on the surface. The sharpie mark will disappear as you heat the silver. You can immediately cool off with water.
Your material will harden quickly again if it is being run through a rolling mill. You may need to anneal the metal multiple times during the process of turning an ingot into wire. The mills will become more difficult to turn.
For busy studios where a lot of metal is being milled, and hence a lot of annealing is required, you may wish to consider a temperature-controlled annealing oven specifically designed for this purpose. A soft flame is enough for most jewelry cases.